How can I keep my toddler healthy and safe?
Real Mom Problem
“I would love to know what everyone does to keep their children healthy. I try but it doesn't seem to work.”
- 1. Always consult your pediatrician if you're concerned about your child's health
- 2. Try to make a sick toddler more comfortable by treating the symptoms with over the counter medicines, natural remedies, or home treatments
- 3. Teach your child how to properly wash their hands to prevent the spread of germs
- 4. Ensure your toddler is getting enough rest at night (and naps during the day if needed)
- 5. Feed your toddler a healthy, balanced diet and plenty of liquids
- 6. Provide your toddler with playful exercise using age-appropriate physical activities
- 7. Keep medicines, household cleaners, and other dangerous substances out of reach and use locks on cupboards and appliances
- 8. Make sure your toddler understands the importance of staying close to you in public places
Real Mom Solutions
Although we all want to keep our toddlers healthy, we can't stop every illness and accident. That's why the moms of CafeMom are here to share advice on treating (and preventing) common ailments and raising safe, happy, healthy toddlers!
Stop Sniffles with these Great Tips
Do the Vicks on the bottoms of her feet and on her chest and just under her nose, steam shower, saline nasal spray. Is she having a hard time breathing because of the snot or is she wheezing from stuff in her lungs? My son was about 18 months old and I thought he had a cold. My husband insisted we take him to the hospital because he was having a hard time breathing. Doctor at ER told us that we were fortunate we came in when we did because if we'd waited longer he would have been hospitalized. He had pneumonia. Make sure that it's just because of the runny nose that she's having a hard time breathing.
Use a crib wedge or folded up blankets to raise the head of her bed. Get a cool air humidifier to keep the air in her room moist, a warm bubble bath or take her into the shower with you so the moist heat will help drain her nose. Get a body balm like baby Vicks (not the adult) or Body Balm by NOW if you want something organic, get a nose saline solution called Ocean and put drips or squirts up her nose and have her keep her head back and hold still, this is hard to do!
Saline solution in their nose will help loosen the snot up and get it out so they can breathe but it does make it so you have to blow your nose a lot. You may want to use a bulb syringe like you got from the hospital when she was born and suck the snot out.
I am constantly using the Nasal Aspirator, since she won't blow her nose. I get a warm mist humidifier (I got the Vicks Vapor Rub one, it has a medicine cup on the top) and put lemon essential oil in the medicine cup, and I put that in whatever room she's sleeping in. I don't know if you're still nursing her, but if you are then just nurse, nurse, nurse. That is definitely one of the huge benefits to breastfeeding during toddlerhood. My daughter kicks her colds in 2-4 days! It's remarkable! If she has a cough I like to use Chestals Honey Cough Syrup. It's homeopathic and safe to use on pretty much any age. It might make their cough worse for a few minutes but then it's gone. Every single person I've told to use this falls in love because it works miracles! When she has a cold I get Wish Gardens Cold Symptoms herbal remedy. It's sweet so I can just give her the dosage straight. I also get Hylands C-Plus Cold Tablets and give them to her every half hour to an hour. Oh and warm baths or a steamy shower with mom will help too!
Give her a steam shower. Help get those little boogers out.
Rub Vicks on the bottom of her feet and then put her socks on. Warm mist humidifier.
How to Soothe a Sick Tummy
Flat room temperature ginger ale works best. Put it in a glass and stir it to take the carbonation away.
Don't give pop with bubbles. Ginger ale is best but 7Up is okay too, just put about 1 cup in a 2 cup measuring cup (or bigger) and put about a teaspoon of granulated sugar into it and stir, watch the bubbles, it will bubble right up as if you shook it. The sugar helps get rid of the carbonation. Having a little extra sugar in her won't hurt (unless she is diabetic) because she probably isn't eating or keeping food down. Try to not feed her until she has not vomited for a couple of hours. Then try something small/light.
Crackers, dry toast, and Pedialyte.
Only give her clear liquids; a tablespoon at a time. Wait about 5 minutes to see if it will stay down. Give her some dry toast.
Getting Toddlers to Take Medicine
My son is two-and-a-half and he hates his liquid medicine and will not take the chewables, so I feel terrible but I end up having to force him to take the liquid. He loves numbers, so I'll count the number of squirts that we have left and it usually calms him down (sometimes he'll even count along with me).
It's heartbreaking when your kid is sick. It's okay to force the medicine in. You know you're doing it with the best intentions of making him better. What works with my daughter is an eye dropper, you just add a little at a time and it's easier to put in their mouths. And cuddling always helps too!
My kids don't like to take their medicine so I either put it in their sippy cup with some juice and make sure they drink it all. Or I put their regular medicine in first and then put a little squirt of bubble gum Tylenol with it. They love the taste of bubble gum medicine and they usually don't even taste the other. So it works out pretty well for me. Hope it can work for you!
My daughter is two-and-a-half and she hates taking liquid medicine, so I have to get her chewable.
Never Too Early To Learn About Germs!
To show how hard one must wash to get rid of the germs effectively, I use a dab of vegetable oil that the kids rubbed into their hands then a dash of cinnamon. They then had to scrub to get it all off.
The Error of Sneezing - this is probably the kids favorite experiment, it's really messy. Using a funnel, dump some confetti to an un-blown balloon before demonstrating this to the kids. Talk about germs and how important it is to cover your mouth when you sneeze. Have everyone pretend that they are going to sneeze (Ah, ah, ah, CHOO!), making sure that everyone covers their mouth as they sneeze. Now explain that you are going to show what happens when you don't cover your mouth when you sneeze. Blow up the balloon, as the child says "Ah, ah, ah"; when you get to the "Choo" part, let go of the balloon. It will deflate, flying through the air with the confetti spilling every where. Explain to the child that the confetti represents germs, and that when we don't cover our mouths when we sneeze, our germs are flying everywhere.
To show how we spread germs when we don't wash our hands, use cooked rice. Cook rice then let it cool. Place it in a large Zip Lock baggie. Place your hand in the bag (some of the rice should stick), shake your child's hand and some of the rice should move to stick to theirs passing the germs along. (You can also do this with a bit of glitter!)
Leashes on Kids: Smart or Strange?
Leashes are for dogs not children.
Use anything that will control your kid in public I always say!
I think they are better than strollers, honestly. At least with those they have freedom to walk around.
I love them, especially for the "runner children." I will always prefer a wrist leash or a back pack leash as opposed to burying my child or grandchild 6 feet under any day.
So many people comment when I have my son using his backpack harness. Good and bad. He thinks it's the greatest thing ever because he doesn't have to be in the stroller. For the most part, he still holds our hand with it on, but when he gets excited he might try to run.
We use a harness when we go to crowded places. My daughter is pretty good about staying next to me, but she doesn't always like to hold my hand and she hates her stroller. So, the harness gives her a little bit of freedom, and it gives me a little bit of sanity. The parents that use them and drag their babies everywhere on them (literally dragging them) should learn what they are really used for. They ruin it for other people. The people that stop and make rude comments to others need to learn their place. Unless its somehow harming the child, butt out. Everyone parents different.
We love our backpack leash!! Our 5 year old still uses it, and even asks to use it when we don't put it on him.
I use a stroller when they're little. By age three they were well behaved enough to stand next to me.